It was one of those days for both of these football teams Saturday; a spectacularly good one for the Hancock College squad and a spectacularly bad one for the Los Angeles Valley College side.
By the time the first half at Hancock Football Field was over, the Monarchs had five turnovers, Ryheem Skinner and Damon Whitmill Jr. both had two touchdowns and Hancock had a 34-point lead. The Bulldogs wound up with a 46-7 Pacific League win.
Hancock, which is ranked No. 2 in the Southern California – American Division poll, moved to 5-2, 2-0. L.A. Valley, coming in ranked No. 5, is 4-3, 1-1. The score was 34-0 at halftime.
"We just did what we do in practice," said Hancock defensive end Anthony Miller after he and fellow defensive end Osa Omokaro helped lead a vigorous Hancock pass rush Saturday.
"It was good to put our best foot forward and take advantage of our chances against a great team like L.A. Valley," Miller said.
One of Skinner's two touchdowns Saturday was a 90-yarder in the first quarter for the third Hancock score. Skinner broke the school record for the longest TD run from scrimmage with that one.
The old mark of 88 yards stood since 1987. It was set originally set by Redell Windley in 1976 and matched by Matt Almaguer in 1987.
The Monarchs haven't matched the 2016 L.A. Valley team that went 11-0. Still, the Van Nuys-based team's 2017 resume was pretty good going in. Besides a winning record, the offense was averaging 22 points a game and the defense had given up an average of just 239 yards an outing.
The total yardage count Saturday was Hancock 429, L.A. Valley 56, with L.A. Velley’s running game held to minus-13 yards (It was not known at press time whether or not the Bulldogs set a single-game record for fewest yards allowed), and the game was as lopsided as the yardage numbers indicated it was. The Monarchs averaged a little over a yard a play.
The third play of the game was an indication of how things would go the rest of the way. JD Smith forced L.A. Valley quarterback Julious Sebastiano to fumble and Omokaro recovered for the Bulldogs at the Monarchs' 12. Skinner scored from the 1 five plays later.
The Monarchs simply had trouble holding on to the ball the rest of the first half. Shortly before Skinner's 90-yard scoring run, a holding penalty wiped out an L.A. Valley score after Arkemus Baskerville had turned a short Sebastiano pass into an apparent touchdown.
Lenny Roundtree intercepted Sebastiano on the next play. It was Rountree’s third interception of the season and seventh in his Hancock football career. Skinner broke his 90-yarder two plays later.
A 12-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Kelleher to Kevin Stark was sandwiched between the two Skinner first-half touchdown runs. A lost Monarchs' fumble set up an 8-yard Whitmill touchdown run and a muffed punt set up Whitmill's 16-yard run for the last score of the first half.
Jordan Pollard kicked two 27-yard field goals and Martiez Prather scored from three yards out for the Hancock second-half scores. The Monarchs scored on Sebastiano's 31-yard pass to Devin Heckstall in the third quarter.
It was a blustery day for football, but it never mattered which team had the wind at its back. Hancock owned things up front and controlled the action almost throughout.
The Bulldogs have righted things since a mistake-filled 24-18 loss at home to San Bernardino Valley College. Their bye week followed, and the Bulldogs have beaten Santa Barbara College 31-3 and routed L.A. Valley College since in their two league games.
"The coaches really didn't say much to us during the bye week," said Omokaro. "We took it upon ourselves as a team to get better.
"We didn't get after the quarterback as we should have against San Bernardino, and all of us on the defensive line challenged each other to get better. We asked ourselves, 'What do we need to do to get better.?' The coaches just encouraged us."
Skinner (145 yards) and Whitmill (104) both eclipsed 100 yards for the day. Isaac Bausley added 63 as the Bulldogs rushed for 364 yards against a defense that had yielded 109 yards a game on the ground going in.
Hancock will play at Los Angeles Pierce College at 4 p.m. next Saturday in another Pacific League game.
Magana Finishes 32nd at WSC Championships
Brianna Magana finished in the top 35 to help the Allan Hancock College women’s cross country team to a 10th place finish at the 2017 Western State Conference Championships on Friday at the Kern County Park in Bakersfield. Combined with their eighth-place finish at last month’s WSC Preview Meet, the Bulldogs earned an at-large berth to the 2017 Southern California Regional Championships. The last time Hancock qualified as a team for regionals was in 2008.
Hancock’s four fastest runners on the day were all freshman.
Magana completed the 5K course in 20:48 to finish in 32nd place overall.
Alina Delaba was clocked in 22:44 for a 49th-place finish.
Elisa Garcia finished 60th overall in 23:27, followed by Cherry Inay in 66th place at 23:50, and sophomore Maria Uvalle in 69th place with a time of 24:04.
The Glendale women won their 13th straight Western State Conference team title. Oxnard’s Briana Valencia won the women’s individual championship with a time of 18:18.
The SoCal Regional Championships will be Friday, November 3, at Central Park in Santa Clarita, hosted by College of the Canyons. The women’s race will begin at 10 a.m.
Domingues wins Riverside Invitational
St. Joseph High’s Joseph Domingues Jr. won his fifth cross country meet Saturday by topping the field the Riverside Invitational Small Schools Division race.
The St. Joseph team finished in second place overall.
Domingues finished the race in 16:04.1, cruising to the finish line with a huge advantage over Viewpoint’s Ronnie Orosky (16:38.1).
Santa Maria High’s Jacob Gomez (17:10.7) finished in seventh place.